Recruiting and Training Ethnographers for On-Site Interviews
by Mike Poirier
In my first five weeks as a Junior Analyst here at PortMA I’ve mostly been learning the ropes by becoming involved in projects that are well into their later stages. However, I’ve been provided with an opportunity to dive into managing a project from start-to-finish.
Typically, our clients employ their own brand ambassadors to collect data at experiential marketing events, but this project allows us to recruit our own ethnographers for on-site data collection.
The recruiting process consists of searching for experienced, professional ethnographers with experience engaging individuals at public or special events, who are capable of administering live surveys on-site, and who are familiar with iPads or other tablets. We recruit ethnographers from other firms who specialize in the experiential marketing industry, so they’re just like us.
This project involves collecting half of the surveys from people who interacted with the brand footprint at each event and the other half from people who did not visit the footprint, in order to have a control group on which to measure the brand’s impact on perceptions.
We personally train each ethnographer over the phone or through webinar to familiarize them with our surveys, so they’re not only able to conduct interviews, but also able to understand the meaning of the research.
Part of launching a new program is preparing for worst case scenarios, like travel delays or cancellations. That’s why we require back-up ethnographers to be available at a moment’s notice, so we can ensure we obtain the results we need. While that degree of uncertainty can be nerve-wracking, it’s all worth it when the results come in and you know you did your homework during the recruiting process.
Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianacare/6093695517/